By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Isn't indoor plumbing a wonderful thing? We can all be thankful that we can turn on a tap and have fresh, running hot and cold water for drinking, bathing, and washing.
On the other hand, we have all experienced the frustration of a clogged drain. When the dirty water we have washed with won't go down the drain, we have got a stagnant mess on our hands. Because we all understand that stagnant water is not healthy, we do whatever is necessary to unclog that drain, so the wastewater isn't standing around polluting the internal environment of our home.
Most people are not aware that the body has a drainage system, too. It's called the lymphatic system, and it works hand in hand with the circulatory system to keep the various tissues and organs alive and healthy. It's the lymphatic system's job to make certain the fluid around the cells in the body doesn't become stagnant.
Sometimes, however, the lymphatic system becomes congested, and—like a cloged or sluggish drain—an unhealthy stagnation of fluids occur. Without the lymphatic drainage working properly, the tissues in the body become like a clogged kitchen sink, a trash-laden back alley, or a stagnant swamp—none of which can be considered healthy conditions.
Lymphatic congestion contributes to swollen lymph nodes, earaches, sore throats, chronic sinus and respiratory congestion, tonsillitis, appendicitis, breast swelling, lumps and tumors, lymphatic cancers and other health problems. Here are some ways to clear the lymphatic congestion.
First, deep breathing, combined with muscular movements, is the key to "pumping" our lymph and keeping it moving. Exercise, for example, increases lymph flow as much as five to fifteen times. One of the best forms of lymphatic exercise is gentle bouncing on a mini trampoline. If a person is unable to stand on the mini trampoline, he or she can still obtain benefit by sitting in a chair next to the trampoline with his or her feet on the trampoline. Another person stands on the trampoline and gently bounces up and down. This passively moves the lymphatics as the seated person's legs move up and down. If you don't own a mini trampoline, don't worry. Just walking and breathing deeply will greatly enhance lymphatic circulation, as will any other form of moderate exercise.
The second key to reducing lymphatic sluggishness is to drink an adequate amount of water. Even moderate dehydration will contribute to poor lymphatic drainage.
Dietary therapy may also be helpful. Certain foods seem to "clog up" the lymphatic system more than others. For many people, dairy products are major culprits. Wheat is another lymphatic "clogger" for many people. However, any food that creates allergic reactions for a person may contribute to lymphatic stagnation. Avoiding these foods is the third key to improving lymph drainage.
The fourth, and final key is using herbs that improve lymphatic function such as the following.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Therapies: Aromatherapy, Cleansing Programs. Deep Breathing, Exercise, Hydration and Sweat Bath
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